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Trash Wheel Project

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Mr. Trash Wheel is a trash interceptor runs on Solar and hydro energy. It works in the citynamed Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The trash wheel was created by John Kellett. It clears waste materials from the river so it could not enters the Chesapeake Bay area. From the time it starts working, the machine cleaned over a million pounds of trash material from the river. Professor Trash Wheel is a new version on Mr.Trash Wheel. The difference between Mr.Trash and Professor Trash is that latter has googly eyes like Mr. Trash Wheel but with eyelashes.John Kellett worked at the harbor for years so he saw garbage floating on the water every day. And as a sailor and engineer, Kellett contacted the city and offered to take a step to clean up the harbor. He built a pilot trash wheel and installed it in 2008.

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MR. Trash Wheel project objective is to clean Jones Falls river in Baltimore city. To pull out all types of waste from the river and to keep the area disease free. The inner harbor of Baltimore is known for its beautiful skyline and waterscape, So Mr. Trash Wheel objective is to maintain the place beauty to attract tourists.


Mr. Trash Wheel runs on nature power to clean the river. The invention works on power which is drawn from the current of the River to turn a waterwheel. Then waterwheel gives power to the conveyer belt. Containment booms direct the trash towards the conveyer belt. Conveyer belt then drops the debris into a waiting Dumpster. That bin sits on platform and can be floated out when it’s time to change it. When there is not enough water current to run the machine, an additional power can be taken from a solar panel array.

The industries the project works with

This project mainly works with Waterfront partnersip of baltimore. There is no other specific industry working with this project because it working on own basis at small level. So it does not need outside help .

How the project/program/initiative is fundedMr. Trash Wheel project was funded by a local non-profit organization named Waterfront The partnership of Baltimore that works on the harbor. The organization approached Kellett who is the creator of trash wheel and offered funds for a bigger trash wheel. Adam Lindquist, the director of Healthy Harbor Initiative at the ‎Waterfront Partnership, said, “No one knew what they were getting themselves into”.Other than these funds, MR. Trash Wheel collected money from donations through the campaign on social media.

The communities impacted

Local people, Fisherman, Tourists are the communities most impacted by MR. Trash Wheel Project.

The impacts on the identified communitiesThis innovation provides a clean place to live for local residents living nearby the river. With this project, a place nearby river is now free of diseases which earlier may spread due to waste.After this project, the fisherman has more opportunities in their area of business.Due to cleanliness in the river, the whole place now attracts more tourists. They can enjoy more in the waste-free area.Due to more tourists, local people have job opportunities and can earn more.

What are the metrics of success for this program?

Metrics of successof the project is better describe by the data. Mr. Trash wheel and professor trash wheel together have collected 999 tons since May 9, 2014. Which include:-753,099 plastic bottles920,154 polystyrene containers10,947000 cigarette butts8371 plastic bottles560184 grocery bags973861 chips bugs. Some interesting facts about Mr. Trash Wheel:

  1. Mr. Trash wheel has collected 38000 lbs in a single day.
  2. All of the cigarette butts collected by wheel could stretch up to 70 miles if they were lined up.
  3. Mr. Trash wheel has birthed over 250 plushies that need homes.

Would you consider this program successful? Why?Yes, I considered this innovation successful because it is very simple, cost saving way to clean the river. The most important thing is that it runs on nature power. It runs on the current flow of water or on solar power energy. So this machine does not need power from outside.

In what ways could this program be improved?

This program could be improved in the level of work. It is running on a small scale and still, it’s showing good results. So it needs more funds to work on a large scale. Yet it is working on funds provided by private bodies. If the government play a big role in this project, then it can show better results. And this good Innovation to clean rivers should be used by other places to clean rivers everywhere. So proper awareness and transfer of technology of this project should be done.


  1. Snow, J. (2017, February 17). Googly-Eyed Trash Eaters May Clean a Harbor Near You. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/02/mr-trash-wheels-professor-trash-wheels-baltimore-harbor-ocean-trash-pickup

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